Brown Travels To Villanova In Battle Of Nation’s Top Scoring Teams

Providence, R.I. – After securing its opening Ivy League game and remaining undefeated (6-0) with an 11-8 win over #14 Harvard, the 3rd-ranked Brown men’s lacrosse team will travel to #5/6 Villanova on Tuesday, March 29 for a showdown between the two highest scoring teams in the nation. Face-off is scheduled for 4:00 pm at Villanova Stadium.

The Bears: Brown (6-0, 1-0 Ivy) moved up to #3 in both the USILA/Nike Coaches and Cascade/Maverick Media national polls, and leads the nation in scoring with 17.33 goals per game. The Bears, off to their best start since winning their first six games to open the 2004 season, are coming off a hard-fought 11-8 win over #14 Harvard on March 19 behind senior Kylor Bellistri’s three goals and senior Will Gural winning 14-of-21 face-offs.

The Wildcats: #5/6 Villanova (6-1) is coming off a 15-9 win over Fairfield on Saturday.  The Wildcats, who rank second in the nation in scoring with 15.86 goals per game, have also beaten #15 Penn State (19-9), Drexel (14-9), Delaware (23-13), Penn (16-8) and Bucknell (12-8), while falling to then #17 Harvard (13-12 ot).

Did You Know?:  Brown’s starting attack of junior Dylan Molloy, senior Kylor Bellistri and Henry Blynn have combined for 385 career points – Molloy166 points, Blynn 110 points and Bellistri 109 points… Brown and Villanova will be meeting for the first time ever.

Kelly First Nationally In Save Percentage: The backstop for Brown’s talented defense is senior All-American goalie Jack Kelly (West Islip, NY), who was a unanimous First Team All-Ivy selection. He currently leads the country in save percentage (.655), 11th in goals against average (7.54) and 14th nationally in saves per game (11.40). He played just three quarters in Brown’s win over Holy Cross, making 11 saves, and had eight saves in three quarters of play against Michigan. Kelly registered 11 saves while surrendering just five goals in 50:42 of play against UMass. He was the difference in Brown’s win over #19 Stony Brook, making 20 saves, mostly in spectacular fashion, including seven in the first quarter. Kelly made eight saves in the Bears’ 20-7 season opening win over Quinnipiac. Last season, Kelly led the Ivy League and ranked 11th nationally in saves per game (11.53), while his save percentage of .554 led the Ivy League and was 14th nationally. He was named the NCAA Defensive Player of the Week, the Lacrosse Magazine Player of the Week and the Ivy League Player of the Week after coming up with 21 spectacular saves in Brown’s 15-6 win over #10 Cornell.  A First Team All-New England selection, Kelly made 14 first half saves against the Big Red and held Cornell to just two second half goals, while making seven saves.

Kemp – Second Team All-American LSM: A first team All-New England selection, junior LSM Larken Kemp (Greenwich, CT) is equally adept on the offensive and defensive ends of the field, and excels on the wing during face-offs. He leads the nation in caused turnovers (2.5 per game) after causing five turnovers and picking up seven ground balls in Brown’s 11-8 win over #14 Harvard. Kemp picked up four ground balls, caused three turnovers and handed out an assist vs. Holy Cross, and had an assist and three caused turnovers vs. Michigan. He had another strong performance against UMass with an assist, four caused turnovers and six ground balls. Kemp had two assists and four ground balls vs. #19 Stony Brook. He scored a goal and had two assists, while picking up three ground balls vs. Quinnipiac. Last year, the Second Team USILA All-American ranked second in the Ivy League and fourth in the nation with 2.06 caused turnovers per game, and ranked 31st nationally in ground balls (4.81 per game). A two-time Ivy League Player of the Week, Kemp was heralded as the National Defensive Player of the Week by the Baltimore Sun following Brown wins over Marist and #9 Princeton.

Molloy – Nation’s Leader In Points: Junior All-American attackman Dylan Molloy (Setauket, NY), the Ivy League and New England Player of the Year, leads the nation in points (5.83 per game) and ranks second nationally in assists (3.17 per game). Molloy has registered at least one point in Brown’s last 26 games, a point streak that dates back to April 19, 2014. Molloy scored four goals and dished out two assists in the Bears’ win over Michigan. He distributed a career-high eight assists vs. Holy Cross, while scoring one goal. Molloy scored his 100th career goal against UMass, finishing the game with two goals and two assists. Molloy is the 12th player in Brown history to score 100 or more goals and ranks seventh on Brown’s all-time scoring list with 166 career points. He picked up where he left off a year ago by being named the Ivy League Player of the Week after registering nine points (3 goals, 6 assists) in Brown’s win over #19 Stony Brook. Molloy opened the season by scoring five goals at Quinnipiac. He posted a record-setting season for the Bears in 2015, leading the nation in scoring with 3.65 goals per game and netting a school-record 62 goals. A First Team All-Ivy and All-New England selection, the All-American added 30 assists to finish with 92 points to lead the Ivy League and rank third nationally with 5.41 points per game.

Tulett Eighth Nationally In Ground Balls: Anchoring the Bears’ close defense is junior Alec Tulett (Toronto, Ontario), a two-year starter for the Bears, who currently ranks eighth in the nation in ground balls (7.17) and 11th nationally in caused turnovers per game (1.83). He picked up seven ground balls and caused two turnovers in the Bears’ 11-8 win over #14 Harvard. Tulett helped Brown win 26-of-30 face-offs vs. Holy Cross by picking up a career-high 11 ground balls. Last year, Tulett led the Bears and ranked 24th nationally with 83 ground balls. Sophomore JJ Ntshaykolo (San Francisco, CA) and freshman Alex Santangelo (Medfield, MA) round out the Bears’ starting defense.

Bellistri Ranks Second Nationally In Scoring: Senior attackman Kylor Bellistri (Potomac, MD) is another marksman for the Bears’ attack, who leads the Bears in scoring with 23 goals, second-best in the nation (3.83 per game), and ranks sixth nationally with 4.83 points per game. He scored three goals and added an assists in the Bears’ 11-8 win over #14 Harvard. Bellistri was named the Ivy League Player of the Week and the USILA/Lids Team Sports Division I Offensive Player of the Week after posting 13 goals and three assists in Brown wins over Holy Cross and Michigan. Bellistri turned in a strong performance against Holy Cross by scoring a career-high seven goals, while adding three assists for 10 points. He followed the Holy Cross game with a six-goal performance against Michigan. Bellistri found the back of the net for three goals and handed out an assist against #19 Stony Brook, and had three goals and an assist at Quinnipiac. He also had a goal and an assist vs. UMass. Bellistri scored 35 goals a year ago, scoring four goals against Michigan and Manhattan, and hat-tricks against UMass, Bucknell, Penn, Providence and Dartmouth.

Bellistri’s Career Scoring: 84 goals           25 assists        109 points

Blynn – Instant Offense:  Bears’ senior attackman Henry Blynn (Villanova, PA) returned to the Brown lineup after missing the entire 2014 season due to injury and responded in 2015 with 38 goals and 14 assists. He had two goals and an assist vs. #14 Harvard. Brown’s second leading scorer with 16 goals, 22nd best in the nation, Blynn tossed in four goals, while adding two assists vs. Holy Cross.  Blynn netted two goals and handed out two assists vs. Michigan. He also netted three goals and handed out an assist vs. UMass. Blynn opened the 2016 season with two goals against Quinnipiac, and registered a hat-trick against #19 Stony Brook with three goals. Last year, Blynn was eighth in the Ivy League with 2.24 goals per game and netted a career-high six goals against Providence.

Blynn’s Career Scoring:  81 goals  29 assists        110 points

Caputo Headlines Midfield: Brown’s prolific offense also features a high-scoring midfield, led by senior Brendan Caputo (Westbury, NY).  Caputo posted a big game vs. #19 Stony Brook with three goals and two assists. He also had a goal against Quinnipiac. Caputo tallied 26 goals and added 12 assists last year. He scored three goals vs. Hartford, Yale and Princeton.  Caputo has registered 82 career points (51 goals, 31 assists) for the Bears.

Gural Leads Nation In Face-Off Pct.:  Brown features one of the top face-off specialists in the country with the return of senior First Team All-New England selection Will Gural (Haverford, PA).  Gural currently leads the nation in face-off percentage, winning 82-of-116 (.741) face-offs. Gural “pitched” a perfect game against Holy Cross, winning 17-of-17 face-offs to help ignite Brown’s offense. He opened the season by winning 11-of-14 face-offs vs. Quinnipiac, and came back by winning 20-of-30 face-off against #19 Stony Brook. Against UMass, Gural won 12-of-15 face-offs. Last year, Gural captured 233-of-391 face-offs (.596), 12th best in the nation. Gural is also an offensive threat, with six goals last season.  He won 16-of-20 face-offs in Brown’s Ivy League Playoff game vs. Yale, and registered a 12-9 advantage vs. Princeton. His 5.17 ground balls per game ranked 25th nationally. He also turned in an outstanding performance vs. Denver in the NCAA Playoffs, winning 15-of-25 face-offs against the nation’s #1 face-off man, Trevor Baptiste.

NCAA Quarterfinals At Brown Stadium:  Brown University is hosting the NCAA Quarterfinals on Saturday, May 21 with a double header at Brown Stadium.  Game times have been set for 12 noon and 2:30 pm with both games being broadcast on ESPNU.  Tickets for the Quarterfinals can be purchased online, over the phone at (401) 863-2773, or at the Brown Athletics Ticket Office located in the lobby of the Pizzitola Sports Center (open Monday-Friday, 8:30 AM – 5:00 PM).